It seems that hosting a sailing event is the thing to do if you are a tourism organisation looking to promote your marine activities and lifestyle. At the professional end of the sport, events like the World Match Racing Tour and the America’s Cup World Series are looking for new venues, while the Volvo Ocean Race has a well established process for bringing their event, and the return on investment it delivers with it.
Spain has has aggressively pursued events at the top end, building on successes in Valencia with the America’s Cup in 2007, the country managed to lure the Volvo Ocean Race to Alicante and Barcelona has created the Barcelona World Race for Open 60 yachts. The Andalucia region of Spain has also worked closely with the Extreme Sailing Series over the last few years and there are two round of the Audi Med Cup contested in Spain in 2011.
Now ISAF have announced that Santander in Spain will host the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships which combines all the events included in the Olympic Sailing Competition.
According to the release:
Santander is a modern, well structured city, which has sailing as part of his heritage and culture. The 2014 Worlds will see competitors racing in the natural setting of the Bay of Santander. One race course will be within the Bay, two opposite El Sardinero’s beaches and one opposite El Puntal beach allowing spectators the opportunity to follow the regatta and athletes. Excellent facilities for sailors, closeness to the city and excellent public access mean that the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships will be a great event for competitors and spectators.
Santander has experience of hosting major national and international sailing events. In the last ten years the city has hosted the 29er World Championship, Yngling World Championship and J80 World Championship.
Jerome Pels, ISAF Secretary General said:
All of the bids that we received were of extremely high quality and demonstrated that there is a big desire and commitment to hosting top level sailing events. The decision ISAF had to make was very difficult. We are confident that Santander will host a superb event for sailors and spectators as well as providing excellent coverage to a worldwide audience through the internet and television.”
Gerardo Pombo, President of the Spanish Sailing Federation said:
“We are very happy because it was a very difficult contest. All the candidates were strong. We sincerely believe that the 2014 ISAF Worlds will be a great success, with the contribution of all the institutions, the businesses and the individuals who are involved in the project.”